With an eye toward strengthening the supply and transport chain throughout the north, the Nunatsiavut government’s economic corporation in Newfoundland and Labrador has bought a controlling share in the territories’ local airlines.
Under the deal, NGC Nunatsiavut Inc. will become a 51 percent shareholder in Air Labrador Limited, the airline serving the 25 northernmost communities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Newfoundland, Quebec and Nunavut, NGC said in a media release at the February 3 announcement.
“LICST and NGC have taken a major step forward in gaining a majority ownership position in another critical component of the supply chain to the Nunatsiavut communities,” said Clint Davis, chairman of both the NGC board and the Labrador Inuit Capital Strategy Trust (LICST), the organization overseeing NGC. “It brings air transport home to the people of Nunatsiavut, where it belongs.”
The new deal will support economic progress, NGC president and CEO James Thorbourne said at the announcement during the Northern Lights trade convention in Ottawa. The convention ran from February 1–4 and showcased business opportunities in northern Canada.
“The addition of Air Labrador to our family allows the Nunatsiavut group of companies to offer integrated transportation and logistics solutions to those wanting to carry out projects in the region,” Thorbourne said in the statement. “Air Labrador is the perfect complement to our existing business lines—tugs/barges, construction, remote camp operations and logistics.”
Philip Earle, President and CEO of Air Labrador, called it “a great day for the airline, marking a new beginning for a new partnership which will allow the company to embrace existing and future economic activities within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area and the region served by our airline.”
Nunatsiavut is the 45,000-square-mile territory of the Labrador Inuit whose land claim settlement went into effect in 2005, when they negotiated rights to resources and self-government through the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. NGC’s mandate is to “create wealth for Nunatsiavut beneficiaries by owning profitable, sustainable businesses,” the airline’s press release said. NGC has now added air transportation to its existing businesses interests in marine transportation, commercial real estate, construction, remote camp operations, logistics and heavy civil transport.